An optimization methodology to increase the noise transmission loss (TL) of damped sandwich structures is presented. The prediction of the TL uses a numerical tool based on a finite element formulation for the sandwich plate coupled to a boundary element method for the acoustic medium. This tool can be used for arbitrarily shaped three-layer sandwich plates with various boundary conditions and it is well adapted to parametric and optimization studies. First, a parametric study was conducted to choose the objective function, the constraints, and the pertinent design variables to use in the optimization problem which consist in reducing the sound power transmitted by a viscoelastically damped sandwich plate. Next, by constraining the acoustical behavior of the sandwich panel, the surface mass of the sandwich structure was minimized. It is shown that a significant reduction in the transmitted sound power can be achieved by selecting the appropriate geometric configuration and damping layer material.

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